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Understanding the Legal Steps to Take After a Car Accident

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Involved in a Car Accident?

Car accidents are so prevalent in our state and country that you may have experienced one or multiple over the years. Medical bills resulting from car accidents can become stressful, as are the steps necessary following a car accident to ensure you avoid financial distress. You must seek medical attention immediately if you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident. Some symptoms may not be present immediately, such as soft tissue issues, whiplash, or a concussion, and you can avoid further damage by seeking medical attention immediately. It may seem like a hassle to miss work while you seek medical care, but the benefits far outweigh the stress of fully understanding any injuries you may have and how to treat them.

Can I Seek Compensation Even if I Was Partially At Fault?

One of the common misconceptions is that if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may not be eligible for compensation. In most cases, this is not true. Texas follows a comparative negligence rule regarding car accidents. What this means for you is that if you are partially at fault for the accident, the compensation awarded for the accident will be reduced by that amount. However, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, you may not be eligible for compensation. Suppose you were in an accident with another party. When you pursue damages after the accident, the courts will apply a percentage of fault to each party involved. For example, if you were found to be 40% at fault and the other party was 60% at fault, you may still be eligible for damages, reduced by your percentage (or 40%) of fault. If $100,000 were awarded in total damages, your share would be $60,000.

Determining Fault After a Car Accident

As mentioned above, determining fault or responsibility for the car accident is crucial, as it can lead to your option of recovering damages or not. Determining fault in an accident can be complex, as there may be factors you were unaware of that led to the accident. Your personal injury attorney will investigate items such as photo or video coverage of the accident, eyewitness statements, police and medical records, or accident recreation to establish fault. Don’t just take the word of the insurance adjuster about fault either. For example, there may be other parties involved that you have yet to think of. Suppose you were in an accident with a commercial vehicle. You may not realize that you can typically pursue not only the driver but also the company that employs them or, in some cases, the commercial vehicle manufacturer. Any business must follow strict vehicle maintenance and inspection laws to avoid vehicle malfunctions that can lead to deadly accidents. Companies are also required to provide adequate training to operate their vehicles to remain safe. If it is found that these requirements were breached, they may be liable in addition to the driver.

Car Insurance Laws in Texas

Texas law requires that you carry auto insurance. The minimums that must be met are $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person, up to $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 of coverage for property damage. Auto policies in Texas typically carry Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which can help further cover medical bills or lost wages following an accident. In most cases, you will need to formally decline PIP coverage, in writing, on your policy if you choose not to want it. Most basic PIP coverage includes $2,500 to help cover your and the other party’s medical bills following an accident. If you are found without car insurance in Texas, you may face fines of a few hundred dollars (up to $1,000) and risk having your car impounded.

Statute of Limitations

Another legal aspect you must consider is the statute of limitations on pursuing personal injury claims after a car accident. Each state will have a strict timeline regarding when you can seek damages; in Texas, it is two years. If you choose to wait and attempt to pursue damages more than two years past the accident date, you may not have the option to do so, regardless of how promising your case may be.

Personal Injury Attorneys Tirelessly Fight For Their Clients

Aside from ensuring your medical needs are tended to, one of the most important aspects of a car accident case is establishing fault. Your personal injury attorney can get to work immediately to help ensure that responsibility is accurately established before heading to court to pursue damages. Personal injury attorneys are also highly skilled in negotiations. This skill means they can negotiate with other parties or insurance companies to ensure you are not inadvertently admitting fault or settling for less than you deserve. Insurance companies typically want you to settle for the least amount possible as their company is in their best interest. Your personal injury attorney will ensure that your best interest is the priority over all other parties involved. We pride ourselves on consistently updating our clients so they know where they stand every step of the way, tirelessly advocating for our clients and doing so with compassion and confidence. Contact our office at (713) 999-6549 today to learn how our team can assist you and your loved ones following a car accident. Don’t let a car accident lead you and your loved ones to financial and emotional distress. Contact your legal advocate today.
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